Choosing to Live in Hope

Dec 09, 2017

by Pastor Chris Nolte, transition pastor, Living Stones Prison Congregation
Shelton, Washington

Advent is truly a season that points us again and again to living in hope; the hope of God's will and presence made known in the coming of Jesus.  Consider these words of Henri Nouwen:
 


“I have found it very important to try to let go of my wishes and instead to live in hope. When I choose to let go of my sometimes petty and superficial wishes and trust that my life is precious and meaningful in the eyes of God, something really new begins to happen for me. To live with openness and trust is an enormously radical attitude towards life.  It is choosing to hope that something is happening for us that is far beyond our own imaginings.  It is giving up control over our future and letting God define our life.   It is living with the conviction that God molds us in love, holds us in tenderness, and moves us away from the sources of fear.”



In the environment of a prison, control is in the hands of people other than inmates for many daily routines. In worship, the men of Living Stones express their decision to turn their lives to the love of God. They thrive in the support of this community of faith and experience the God of all hope. The songs of worship praise God for the “chains” that are broken, for a freedom from burdens, for “grace like rain,” and for the new journey in which God’s presence, direction and control are everything - abundant hope.

Hope is difficult to sustain no matter which side of the walls you live.  That is why this ministry of Living Stones is so vital and necessary.  Living Stones is a community beyond the “superficial wishes” for a better life, where God brings a new purpose of life into view, and where lives are transformed “beyond our own imaginings.”  One can see the living hope, strong and vibrant, in this community of faith.  Hope abounds! 

May the God of all hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing,
so that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Romans 15:13



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